Long hours of waiting at the railway station by Raja Ravi Varma and his brother, C Raja Raja Varma allowed them to examine and capture various events. This is an interesting sketch where the porter (called a coolie) is negotiating his wage. He is seen presumably demanding two annas (for two rupees of a wage would indeed be extortionate). Interestingly, neither of the male passengers seem bold enough to counter the demand. It is the woman, the central figure, who seems to have adopted an aggressive stance and is game to negotiate!


  • Title: The Negotiation
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 34 x 24 cms
  • Type: Sketch
  • Original Source: Collection of DAG- New Delhi, Mumbai, New York.
  • Rights: Curatorial rights: The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Medium: Watercolour and Graphite on Paper
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1848-04-29/1906-10-02
  • Creator's Biography: Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) was a prolific Indian artist who is recognized for his resorting to the academic realistic style of painting. His portraits of English and Indian royalty and aristocracy were well received. His paintings on Hindu religious and mythological subjects and paintings from classical and literary sources were highly sought after even during his lifetime. He painted several copies of his works and this demand led to the suggestion to have his paintings printed in the form of oleographs. The Ravi Varma Fine Art Lithographic Press was established in Bombay (now Mumbai) and commenced operations in 1894. Many of Ravi Varma's paintings were printed as chromolithographs at this Press. These chromolithographs would have a tremendous impact on religion, society and aesthetics. They went on to democratize art leading to immortalize Ravi Varma in the minds of the people of the Indian subcontinent.

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps